Mark O'NeillPCWorld Follow me on Google+

Expatriate Scotsman now living in Wurzburg, Germany, freelance writer, frustrated future bestselling author, obsessed bibliophile. Other interests include trying to understand The Architect in the Matrix movies, decrypting codes and ciphers, and trying to persuade my landlord and my wife to let me have a Highland Cow for a pet.

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Control your PC with these 5 speech recognition programs

Dragon NaturallySpeaking remains the most powerful beast in speech recognition, but cheap or even free tools are staking out territory for simpler tasks.

Four notepad apps to power up Windows' own WordPad

Everyone needs to scribble a note down now and then, but on Windows, you don't have to settle for the default Windows notepad. There are much more robust alternatives out there.

pNotes review: Make sticky notes simple or fancy

A cross between a sticky-note programs and a richer-format notepad program, pNotes is a free utility well worth installing.

Metapad review: Replace WordPad with this tiny, full-featured notepad

Designed to completely replace the Microsoft's WordPad, Metapad has the small size and big feature list to make the change appealing.

Notepad2 review: Syntax highlighting make this utility a good notepad replacement for coders

Notepad2 echoes WordPad's familiar interface while adding useful features such as line numbering, syntax highlighting, and improved search-and-replace.

NotePad++ offers portable notepad features for programmers

Text editor Notepad++ is portable and (as you might guess from the name) very programmer-friendly. It's open-source and donationware, too.

Hamster Free Zip Archiver screenshot

5 free compression tools zip your files just dandy

You can't go wrong with paid compression programs WinZip or WinRAR...but if you'd rather hang on to your $30, check out these free alternatives. Each of them can get basic file zipping and unzipping done without making you unzip your wallet.